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February 2011
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April 2011

Methinks the honeymoon may be over

            We are now in our third week in the sunny south, and in true Grouchy-house fashion, the luster is wearing off.   So far everyone but darling daughter has been sick; the drains have refused to cooperate for days on end;  the stove didn't work for a week; and my shiny-new clothes dryer can only run for five minutes at a time before it flips the main breaker off.   Well, okay, that's life, so we did what needed to be done, and voila!  We're all approaching good health again, the stove is fixed, and the plumbers got the drains going again....until this morning.  Actually until about 15 minutes ago, when I hit the little lever and instead of "swoosh-swoosh-GONE"  I got "glug....glug.....glug.....eeewww".   

            I'm sure you can imagine my scarcely-containable glee upon witnessing this event.   Really, one of the highlights of my life these days is calling our landlord and telling him what isn't working today.  The poor man probably wishes he'd just burned the place down.   And the sad thing is, I really, really like this house.  It's open and sunny and welcoming and it would be absolutely amazing if everything freaking worked!    (So sorry, did that sound bitter?  Really, I'm not bitter.  Not at all.  Simply - um - disillusioned.  Yeah, that's it, disillusioned. )    It's just a little more challenging than I'd expected, what with only being able to flush the toilets every few hours and having to dry clothes in five-minute bursts.   That's all. 

            So now I'm waiting to hear from the landlord about drains, and dryers, and....oh golly....I'm almost afraid to contemplate what else could happen.  It boggles the mind.   Thankfully the sun is out today, after a weekend of rain and storms, so I'm hoping that will keep me pepped up a bit.   Hope all your drains actually drain! 

Nothing could be finer....

           Well, we are officially South Carolina residents now!  The kids and I arrived Sunday the 13th, to be greeted by a very happy husband and father (he was lonely) and a VERY full house.  The movers had unloaded the truck that day as well, and the place was pretty much wall-to-wall boxes.  Thank God there's a storage building in the back yard, or there might not have been room for us that first night! 

        Since then we've been unpacking, sorting, organizing, and generally settling in to our new place.  It's been a bit of a challenge, fitting everything in - this house is about the same size as just the main floor of our house in MI - but we're getting there.   It's an older house, so there are some quirks (when I run my clothes dryer it trips the breaker switches), but overall we like it.  The back yard is fantastic for the dogs - it's a huge fenced-in area, so they can run and play all they want without any worries about traffic, etc.  The house is surrounded by  trees and bushes - there's dogwood, azalea, forsythia, camellia, and a bunch of stuff that I don't even recognize.   Everything is blooming right now and it's just gorgeous.   And the weather - oh, the weather!   There was snow and ice on the ground in MI when we left, but since we got here the temperatures have been mostly in the upper 70s - low 80s.   We're loving it.

           Of course, in true Grouchy Mom fashion, I had to complicate things by coming down with a brutal case of bronchitis almost as soon as we got here, complicated by unexpected allergies to all the pollen in the air.   I've spent a lot of time hacking and coughing and trying to breath, but thankfully the meds are kicking in and the last couple days have been better.    Incidentally, nobody ever told me that those breathing treatments you get in the ER give you such a buzz!  :-)

        So that's what's happening with our family right now.  Hopefully in a few more days we'll be finished unpacking and organizing, and then we can start exploring the area a bit more.  Y'all come down and see us, y'hear?

Almost there!

        We are down to one week, folks.  One week - that's how much longer I'll be living in Michigan.  After that, we will officially be southerners, basking under the sunny skies of South Carolina.  Can I just tell you how much I will love sunny skies?  So, so, sooooo much! 

        I went down last weekend to see my sweetie and find us all a place to live.  The whole housing thing is a lot more of an issue now than it used to be, given that there are a lot more people (and critters) in the family these days.  When it was just Jon and I, well - we lived for a year and a half in an attic apartment that was so tiny our double bed didn't fit in the bedroom, and so low-ceilinged that Jon had to crouch in the shower.  Truth.  And we were okay with that, because hey, it was cheap and we were young and everything was an adventure.   Unfortunately, if we tried something like that now I'm pretty sure there'd be blood on the floor before the first week was over.

        So, knowing that we would need a certain amount of space, and a landlord who would look kindly on our four dogs,  we began looking online before Jon even went south to start work.  It was discouraging looking though, because just about anything we found that we thought was reasonable pricewise was NOT reasonable in terms of living conditions, and vice-versa.   In fact, we were starting to panic a little bit, but then the magician came.

        The recruiter who worked with Jon to get this job gave us the name of a realtor in town and suggested we talk to him.   I don't know what Jon expected - for that matter, I'm not entirely sure what I expected - but what we got was Cal Sims.  Folks, if you move to South Carolina, find this man and make him work for you.   I swear Cal could pull just about anything you need out of his back pocket and act like it was no big deal.   He found us three great options (and had more in reserve) and spent hours of his time on a Saturday driving us around and introducing us to the area.   Plus he is absolutely hilarious - I laughed so hard I was afraid I was going to have an accident.  (Yes, that.  Sorry.)   By Saturday evening we'd made our choice, and Monday afternoon we signed the rental agreement. 

        Cal managed to find us a house with plenty of space for us and our stuff, plus an enormous fenced back yard for the dogs.   It's a lovely brick ranch with wood floors and fireplaces and a koi pond in the back, and it's less than five miles to work for Jon.   How cool is that?  There's even a storage building in the back where we can stash Jon's tools, motorcycles, etc.   The only thing that would make it better is having Alice from the Brady Bunch to be our cook-housekeeper, but I suppose that's getting greedy. :-)  

        Now all that's left is finishing up the myriad little details involved with moving.   I hate the myriad little details involved with moving, but oh well.   I'm looking forward to being with my hubby again in a week, so it's all worth it.  Plus I'll be warm!